Seneca Review Challenges Genre in New Issue
In the latest issue, Seneca Review is challenging genre. “In 1977, Seneca Review made room for a cross-fertilization of poetry and nonfiction it called ‘the lyric essay,'” the editor note states. “With this special issue of SR (Fall 2013/Spring 2014), we are making room for a different chimera we’re calling Beyond Category—work that crosses bigger lines of genre and form. Not just between poetry and essays but between writing and visual art, between analog and digital. These hybrids and outliers will be a regular part of future issues”
And it is, indeed, beyond categorization. In addition to the bound print copy, which includes a wide variety of art and photographs of projects, Seneca Review‘s new issue comes with a poster filled with thought bubbles, two witty tattoos, a newspaperesque handout combining drawings and sketches with tiny type that must be read with magnifying glass (also included), and more beyond category pieces rolled into tubes. It’s certainly exciting!
This is also the start of the Beyond Category Online feature that includes digital work. Currently, you can find pieces by Susan Howe & David Grubbs, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, Derek Gromadzki, Sarah Minor, Noah Saterstrom, and more. I didn’t play around there too long, but you should definitely do so. As a sample, the piece “Memory Collective” explores the nature of memory as six essayists share a fleeting or fragmented memory. Then, another essayist takes that memory and remembers it, in whatever format they choose. “This process may involve speculating, soldering, or drawing on one’s own reservoir of memories to complete or cohere another’s memory.” It may sound a little confusing at first, but I urge you to take a look.